As you approach retirement, you’re probably considering all kinds of change. Maybe you’ll read more, go on more hikes, or travel. You also might be asking yourself if keeping your home is the best decision. There’s much talk about how renting is much easier; there’s less home maintenance, no shoveling or raking, and no lawn upkeep, but do you really want to leave your forever home? The freedom of renting comes seems nice but do you really want to leave the home you’ve invested in and built memories in for years?
Let’s say you still have a while on your mortgage. Financially speaking, it doesn’t make much sense to stay and continue paying the debt. Selling and moving into a home that you can afford would allow you, to free up a good amount of your monthly budget. Imagine what you can do with that extra money—Europe trip here you come!
If buying again sounds like too much work, consider renting. Not owning reduces other expenses such as home maintenance and unexpected repairs. Remember, if you have empty rooms you’re still paying to heat and cool them even if you only get the occasional stay from children or grandchildren.
On the other hand, renting is a monthly payment that you will never see again. Unlike a mortgage, rent only covers living in the home for that month; and you will never own the space. For those who have already paid off their mortgage or are close to, it might make financial sense to stay put because the maintenance and utilities are typically cheaper than rent. Don’t forget to find the value of your home—is it appreciating or depreciating? If the value is going up, it could be worth it to stay longer. A realtor can give you a better idea of the local housing market and the value of your home.
If you’ve lived in your home for decades, you might not want to part from it. Sometimes, the non-financial reasons are the most important—maybe you value the memories you made in your home. Wanting to stay put in a familiar place is common among retirees.
How to Sell
If you do decide to sell your home and pursue renting, it can seem confusing at first. To begin, you’ll need to find the right realtor to help you sell. Then, make your home appealing for the most profit. Your home has been lived in for many, many years and may need some updates. You can look into using a home stager to save time.
When you have the details worked out for selling, you’ll be faced with the choice: rent or buy? The decision should be based on the market, your lifestyle, and your financial status. Renting would be more beneficial for those who don’t have the time or means to care for a home. It can also be useful to those who are traveling often. On the other hand, buying a downsized home would benefit those who enjoy staying put and are able to care for a home.
Tips on Staying Put
If you decide to keep your house, discuss renting it out. Will you travel often? Try Airbnb to rent periodically profit while being away. This can potentially pay for any home maintenance or utilities. If you have the ability, you can turn your home into a multi-family unit and rent out one floor. This can bring in extra income and ensure the space gets proper use and cleaning. Who doesn’t need extra cash?
If renting your home isn’t an option, there’s always downsizing within your home. Get rid of anything that isn’t necessary, important, or sentimental. Use the one-year rule— if you haven’t touched it in a year then it’s probably not worth keeping. You can donate, sell, or re-home the items to your children or grandchildren. Digitize whatever you can—the UPS store and public libraries typically have scanners for public use.
Remember, there isn’t a one-size fits all retirement plan. You’ll have to carefully consider your home value, equity, lifestyle, and retirement needs before selling or deciding to stay put. Jumping into retirement can seem scary, but with the right help, it can be easy. At RGA, we specialize with a team approach to retirement. We have several different professions such as financial advisors, licensed insurance agents, CPA, and attorneys to assist you in the transition to living your best retirement. Give us a call at 1.800.467.8152 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary consultation so we can assist you in living your dream retirement.